Surely, you’ve heard the recent accusations that the Clintons have used their charitable Clinton Foundation as a gateway for greater government access for foundation donors. The idea that a foundation like the Clinton Foundation–set up, presumably to help those in need–might misuse its power for political purposes should be a concern for every American. However, we must look at the issue from a much broader perspective. After all, the Bush family’s similar ‘Points of Light’ foundation was created in 1990 and has operated fully ever since, through two separate President Bush adminstrations, yet there has been no outcry about the Republican family’s use of such a foundation.

Again, concerns about the use of such foundations by politically-connected families should be addressed, because they get to the heart of how corruption can creep into the U.S. government if we don’t keep it in check. And if we are to be serious about keeping corruption out of our government, we must also address the ways in which the major parties view the role of the government in the first place–especially when it comes to the idea that our government is not a business, and should not be run simply to make a financial profit.

Of course, Republicans feel that the more services provided by our government that can be ‘privatized,’ the better, arguing this helps downsize government and competitive forces create a leaner organization than one run by the government. The Democrats, by contrast, feel that when you privatize an industry, putting it into the capitalistic framework, that organization now has profit as its main goal, rather than the consistent and fair delivery of a service to the people of the nation.

I find it incredible, for example, that we have allowed the existence of for-profit prisons in the United States. What is to stop a private prison, wishing to fill up its jail cells, from taking unusual or even illegal steps to do so? This dangerous creep of potential corruption into our government is extremely real, yet all that is being discussed right now is that the Clinton Foundation may have used its power in ways it should not have. There are many other examples of for-profit creep into our government and you can read about them here.

I am in no way assessing or defending what the Clintons or the Bushes have done by operating charitable foundations while simultaneously hold high office, but it is completely disingenuous of Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed business tycoon, and the Republican party leaders to try and create a smokescreen with something that is so much a part of American culture: Pay-To-Play.